Study Guide

Angle of Repose Part 1, Chapter 4

By Wallace Stegner

Part 1, Chapter 4

  • While Oliver is gutting it out in the Wild, Wild West, Susan is living the high-society life on the East Coast. By now, she's begun getting paid to work as an artist.
  • Susan continues to write letters to Oliver, but she has her sights set on someone else at the moment: Thomas Hudson. Thomas is a literary editor and best bro to Susan and Augusta.
  • Susan loves Thomas because he is a pure fancy pants, a smart and sensitive man who we'll learn is also the "greatest editor" in the country (1.3.15). Even our knees are getting weak now.
  • After a few years, Susan realizes that Thomas is actually in love with Augusta. Bummer. Although this breaks Susan's heart (and leads her to write a nasty letter to her BFF), she eventually makes peace with her best friends' relationship.
  • And then, there's this: just two days after Susan learns about this love affair, she receives a letter from Oliver saying that he's coming back to the East Coast.
  • Susan picks up Oliver from the train station. He's acting pretty Clint Eastwood-y at this point: when he arrives at her house, he makes a big show of placing his tobacco pipe and great woodenhandled revolver on her dresser.